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Faranak Amidi takes a fresh look at the stories of the week with journalists from our 40 language sections.


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Faranak Amidi takes a fresh look at the stories of the week with journalists from our 40 language sections.




Manipur’s deadly tribal clashes

Violence broke out in the north eastern Indian state of Manipur earlier this month after a rally by indigenous communities protesting against moves to grant tribal status to the state's main ethnic group. Raghvendra Rao of BBC Delhi spoke to people affected by the violence. Cool pavements in Saudi Arabia In Saudi Arabia, a trial project is turning some streets and pavements white. It's called 'Cool Pavements' and is all about reducing the amount of heat given off during the night by traditional black asphalt roads, as BBC Arabic's Nisrine Hatoum reports. Cleopatra Clash Netflix’s “Cleopatra” docudrama sparked international controversy over portraying the legendary ruler as mixed-race. Yassmin Farag from BBC Arabic tells us what we know of the actual heritage of the last Egyptian pharaoh, and why Egyptians are up in arms. Turkish Earthquake: Little Afghanistan BBC Uzbek's Firuz Rahimi visited the Turkish village of Ovakent, which was devastated by February's earthquake. The majority of the population living there are Afghan refugees of Uzbek and Turkman ethnicity who've been arriving since 1982. He heard the stories of those who lost relatives, homes and businesses, and their plans to rebuild. Vietnamese children of US fathers About 100,000 children were born to Vietnamese women and American soldiers during the Vietnam War. Writer Nguyen Phan Que Mai has been helping these children reunite with their American fathers for years. My Hang Tran of BBC Vietnamese interviewed the author about why she wanted to shine a light on this consequence of war. (Photo: Car burned in Manipur, India. Credit: AFP via Getty Images)


Reporting Cyclone Mocha

BBC Bengali's Shahnewaj Rocky shares the experiences of the fishermen of Teknaf in Bangladesh following Cyclone Mocha. Plus BBC Burmese Editor Soe Win Than shares his reporting team's experience of being in Rakhine State's capital Sittwe as the cyclone made landfall. Thai voters ‘big leaps’ Thai social media has been full of people’s photos of themselves taking big leaps after the election success of the Move Forward party, as BBC Thai’s Tossapol Chaisamritpol explains. LGBT extortion in Nigeria The story behind BBC Africa Eye's investigation into how members of the LGBT community in Nigeria are being targeted by criminal gangs who pose as potential dates on popular apps, only to extort, beat and even kidnap them. Journalist Ian Wafula followed the story. Art, spoons and defecting from North Korea BBC Korean's Damin Jung tells us about North Korean defector Oh Sung-cheol who was a propaganda poster artist in North Korea before defecting to South Korea. (Photo: Aftermath of Cyclone Mocha in Myanmar. Credit: Win Kyaw Thu/BBC Burmese)


Leaving Sudan

BBC Arabic’s Mohamed Osman has reported from Sudan for two decades and is used to covering conflict. But two weeks ago he was forced to flee the capital with his family as he was no longer able to live or work safely. From Cairo he told us about his decision, the journey, and his mixed feelings now that he is safe. Saving one of Brazil's rarest birds Efforts are underway in Brazil to save a rare species of bird which was widely believed to be extinct until 2016, when a dozen of them were discovered by chance. BBC Brasil's Andre Biernath tells us about a project to secure the future of the blue-eyed ground dove. Ukrainian children adapting to life in exile Millions of Ukrainian women and children are living in EU countries after fleeing the war more than a year ago. BBC Ukrainian's Victoria Prisedskaya spoke to mothers in Poland and Germany about the difficulties their children face in adapting to new education systems and environments, and their concerns for their children's future. Press freedom in Vietnam Social media users in Vietnam will soon have to verify their identities, in what the government says is a bid to crack down on online scams. Some feel that this law is an attempt to curb freedom of expression online. In the 2023 World Press Freedom rankings, Vietnam came 178th out of 180, just above North Korea and China. BBC Vietnamese editor Giang Nguyen joins us to discuss further. The Turkish elections through 3 cities Ahead of Turkey's Sunday elections BBC Turkish journalist Esra Yalcinalp tells us about the 3 cities she visited - Bayburt, Trabzon and Antalya - and what light voters in those cities shed on the chances of the main political alliances asking for their votes. (Photo: BBC Arabic's Mohamed Osman crossing the Nile from Sudan to Egypt. Credit: BBC)


A lifeline for Sudan

This week, BBC Arabic launched an emergency radio service for Sudan, providing information and advice. Editor Adel Soliman tells us how they're putting together information about essential needs like how to obtain fuel, food and support. They also provide a platform for Sudanese people to share news from across the country. Thailand's election jargon Election time always spawns new buzzwords in Thailand. BBC Thai's Tossapol Chaisamritpol shares three from this election's crop: MP draining, landslide, and Big House. Speed dating for single Muslims London recently hosted the biggest ever Muslim speed dating event, organised by the Muzz dating app. More than a thousand people took part, and BBC Arabic's Alma Hassoun went along to explore the challenges some young Muslims face in meeting and socialising with others of their religion. Reporting on Kenya's starvation cult BBC Africa’s Dorcas Wangira has been following the story of Kenyan preacher Paul Nthenge Mackenzie, who’s accused of encouraging his followers to starve themselves to death. Hundreds of bodies have been discovered in an isolated forest area on the Kenyan coast, and Dorcas was one of the first journalists on the scene. Paraguay, Taiwan and China The victory of the ruling Colorado Party in Paraguay’s recent election was also in part a victory for Taiwan: Paraguay remains one of the last Latin American countries retaining full diplomatic ties with Taipei, while the opposition party candidate had promised to follow the growing trend of switching to Beijing. BBC Monitoring's Luis Fajardo in Miami reports on what these ties mean, both for Paraguay, and for China and Taiwan. (Photo: Smoke rises during clashes in Khartoum, Sudan. Credit: Ahmed Satti/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)


Artists targeted by the state

High profile artists and cultural figures in both Iran and Russia face punishment and restrictions on their work if they speak out against their governments. Following the protests in Iran, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, artists are increasingly under pressure to toe the political line. With BBC Persian's Parham Ghobadi, and BBC Monitoring's Vitaliy Shevchenko. Couple living the Vietnamese saying dream There’s a Vietnamese phrase that suggests perfect happiness can be found by those who live in a western house, eat Chinese food and marry a Japanese woman. We hear about the couple on Tiktok living the dream, and about the history of this saying, with BBC Vietnamese's Thuong Le. Sudan: brothers divided by war The fighting in Sudan has been a huge story for BBC Arabic. In addition to covering the main headlines they also told the story of two brothers fighting on opposite sides, as Majd Kilani reports. Meeting her pupils for the first time: North Waziristan The village school of Dewagar, North Waziristan, struggled to find a teacher due to the history of instability in the area. In 2020 Seema Mahin, based in Islamabad, became their online teacher, and recently went to meet them in person for the first time, with the help of Farhat Javed of BBC Urdu. (Photo: Iran’s Andiseh magazine shows Mahsa Amini, whose death sparked protests. Credit: Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images)


Uganda's child pregnancy problem

Since the pandemic, reports from Uganda say there has been a 300% increase in pregnancies among girls aged 10-14. Sexual violence has been further fuelled in the north by the legacy of a 20-year insurgency led by notorious warlord Joseph Kony, and cases of sexual abuse of girls as young as three are being reported. For BBC Africa Eye, Paul Bakibinga investigates the true scale of the problem. Russia's online draft Under a new law recently signed by President Vladimir Putin, call-up papers will be served online, which makes avoiding the draft almost impossible. Kateryna Khinkulova of BBC Russian explains the new legislation. Fighting to keep Afghan music alive After they took power in August 2021, the Taliban imposed a total ban on playing and listening to music in public in Afghanistan. Students at the National Institute of Music fled the country, but now they are performing on the international stage in order to keep their music alive. BBC Afghan's Shekiba Habib has been talking to them. The return of Ya Ya the panda to China Ya Ya arrived at Memphis Zoo 20 years ago but will soon make the journey back to her home country. Chinese netizens have been urging her swift return and asking if it's time for China to move on from 'panda diplomacy'. The BBC's Fan Wang has been covering the story. (Photo: Young Ugandan mother carrying baby on her back)


Defending against the death penalty

Since anti-government protests erupted in Iran following the death in police custody last September of Mahsa Amini, at least 30,000 people have been arrested. While most have been released on bail, it's reported that more than a hundred have been sentenced to death or charged with capital offences. BBC Persian's Firouzeh Akbarian tells us about the lawyers who are trying to stop more executions as well as free people from detention. A haunted forest in Serbia's 'Siberia' The Pešter Plateau in south west Serbia is nicknamed Serbia's Siberia because of its long cold winters, which often leave villages cut off by snow. Its extensive grasslands are used for raising sheep and cattle, but Sandra Maksimovic of BBC Serbian discovered an unusual forest which has survived through the centuries, because - according to legend - it's haunted. The Indian communities where women inherit In India's north-eastern state of Meghalaya, many families still follow an age-old system of inheritance, where children take the mother's surname and the ancestral property goes to the youngest daughter. BBC Marathi's Mayuresh Konnur visited Meghalaya and discovered the pressure that modern life is putting on this matrilineal tradition. My father's story - and my country's In 2018, BBC Uzbek journalist Ibrat Safo began recording stories told by his father, Ozod. They were family memories but also revealed a lot about the history of Uzbekistan in the 20th century. When Ozod died earlier this year, Ibrat decided to share some of those 'Dad tapes'. (Photo: Women hold up signs depicting the image of Mahsa Amini, who died while in the custody of Iranian authorities. Credit: SAFIN HAMED/AFP via Getty Images)


Indian students returning to Ukraine

A year ago India evacuated thousands of students, mostly studying medicine, from Ukraine following the Russian invasion. Their arrival home was greeted with great thanks and fanfare, so why have more than a thousand felt compelled to return? BBC Hindi’s Jugal Purohit has been finding out. Chicken poop power A farmer in Kenya has developed an original way of tackling the rising cost of living, using chicken droppings to make biogas which produces electricity for his farm. BBC Africa business journalist Sara Adam went to meet him. The Javanese diaspora in Suriname More than 70,000 people in Suriname, around 15% of the population, are of Javanese ancestry. In the 19th century, Dutch colonisers recruited thousands of Indonesians from Java to work on plantations in Suriname. More than a century later, the Javanese Surinamese still keep their heritage alive. Mohamad Susilo from BBC Indonesian visited Suriname to meet some of them. Reporting Lebanon's financial meltdown The Lebanese lira has been in freefall as the country experiences a financial meltdown. Prices are constantly rising and many people are struggling to survive. For Carine Torbey, the BBC correspondent in Beirut, it’s a story she has to live as well as report. Investigating the ‘pig butchering’ romance scam One of the most successful global online romance scams, known as ‘pig butchering’, is run by criminal gangs in South East Asia. World Service journalist Zhaoyin Feng worked with the BBC Eye Investigation team, travelling from Boston to Phnom Penh to meet victims and former scammers. (Photo: Indian medical students who've returned to Ukraine. Credit: BBC)


Exposing bogus blindness treatments

BBC Arabic’s recent film ‘Blind Faith’ exposes the clinics offering bogus, and potentially dangerous, treatments to people living with an incurable eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa, or RP. The reporter is Ramadan Younes, who's based in Egypt. He also has RP and is visually impaired, and underwent one of these treatments himself. Vietnamese embassy protests in Poland Poland's Vietnamese community has been protesting outside the Vietnamese embassy in Warsaw, and demanding the resignation of the ambassador, over allegations of overcharging and illegal fees for visas and passports. BBC Vietnamese editor Giang Nguyen has been following the story. South Koreans committing to singledom BBC Korean journalist Yuna Ku has been investigating the growing number of Koreans committing to remaining single, some even staging 'non-marriage' ceremonies. She explores how the workplace, and society, are responding. (Photo: BBC Arabic's Ramadan Younes. Credit: BBC)


The Fifth Floor in São Paulo

With big political changes in Brazil after a divisive election which brought in a new president, Faranak Amidi is in the country's largest city São Paulo to look at the stories being covered by the BBC journalists based there. The heart of São Paulo: Avenida Paulista Leticia Mori takes us to the famous Avenida Paulista, built for the rich of São Paulo and now home to many businesses and banks. It hosts street markets and live performances every Sunday, and has also been the site of many protests and demonstrations. A country the size of a continent Journalists Vitor Tavares, Camilla Mota, Ian Alves and Ligia Guimarães give us an idea of the vastness of Brazil with a quick introduction to their home towns. Divided Brazil We discuss the divisions which seem to touch all parts of life in Brazil - with João Fellet, Thais Carrança and Ian Alves. What's it been like reporting on such a polarised country, and has the new presidency brought any signs of change? My favourite neighbourhood: Liberdade We rejoin Leticia Mori in the Liberdade neighbourhood of São Paulo, home to the city's Japanese community. Leticia tells us about her own Japanese heritage and what this area tells us about the complex history of Brazil. Brazil, the melting pot Brazil has one of the most diverse and mixed populations in the world, and São Paulo is its most diverse city. Camilla Mota, Mariana Alvim and Felipe Souza tell us what it means to be Brazilian, and discuss the stereotypes they're sometimes faced with. (Photo: A man shows the Brazilian flag in Avenida Paulista, São Paulo. Credit: Mauro Horita/Getty Images)


Aid, politics and Syria’s earthquake

February's earthquake spanned the Turkey-Syria border and refocused international attention on the complicated geopolitics of northern Syria. We hear how the earthquake aid operation presented both challenges and opportunities to the different groups controlling Syria, from the government in Damascus to the rebel leaders of Idlib province. With BBC Monitoring jihadi expert Mina al-Lami and BBC Middle East correspondent Lina Sinjab. The handwritten newspaper of Bangladesh Since 2019, a handwritten newspaper has been published by a group of day labourers in southern Bangladesh. It aims to inspire others with stories of ordinary villagers who have overcome struggles and hardships, as BBC Bengali's Nagib Bahar reports. Venezuela: 10 years after the death of Hugo Chavez Venezuelans have been marking the tenth anniversary of the death of former president Hugo Chavez, one of the most controversial, charismatic and influential politicians in Latin American history. As a child, teenager and then young reporter, BBC Mundo’s Jorge Perez witnessed some of the key moments of Chavez’s rule. Searching for gems of hope For four decades local people have been mining semi-precious stones in the mountainous Chumar Bakhoor area of Gilgit-Baltistan in northern Pakistan. BBC Urdu’s Musa Yawari travelled into the mountains to meet the miners as they brave hazardous conditions hoping to make their fortunes. (Photo: A man in Idlib province carrying the body of a child after the Turkey-Syria earthquake. Credit: Mohammed Al-Rifai/AFP via Getty images)


The Belarusians fighting in Ukraine

We look at the Belarusian regiment of volunteers serving under Ukrainian command in the war against Russia, and explore Ukraine's complex relationship with Belarus, with BBC Monitoring journalist, and Belarusian, Gennadiy Kot. Me and my name BBC Mundo's Atahualpa Amerise reflects on what it’s like to be a Spaniard named after the last Inca emperor. Thai punishment haircuts Historically Thai students have faced humiliating punishment haircuts by teachers for breaking strict rules regarding the length and style of their hair. But last month the authorities revoked the hair regulations. BBC Thai's Tossapol Chaisamritpol visits a school that has adopted more liberal rules, and remembers his own punishment haircuts. Chinese migrants 'walking the line' through South America Benny Lu of BBC Chinese has spoken to some of the growing number of Chinese asylum seekers trying to reach the United States via South America. They call it 'walking the line'. The champion rat catcher of Bangladesh Mohammed Anwar is a champion rat catcher. It started as a hobby to make a bit of pocket money then became a lucrative career. BBC Bengali's Shahnewaj Rocky joined him for a rat catching day out. (Photo: Belarus fighters in Ukraine. Credit: The Kastus Kalinowski Regiment website)


Reporting Iran's school poisonings

There's fear and anger in Iran over a wave of poisonings that have affected hundreds of schoolgirls across the country. Soroush Pakzad from BBC Persian's social media team describes the challenges of investigating the story, and Aalia Farzan from BBC Dari tells us how the cause of similar incidents in Afghanistan a few years back was never established. BBC Indian Sportswoman of the Year The sporting achievements of Indian women athletes are being celebrated by the BBC in Delhi this weekend when they announce the winner of their Indian Sportswoman of the Year award for 2022. Journalist Divya Arya has been reporting on the nominees, and tells us about their achievements. Crimea bridge attack: who has been arrested for the explosion? In October last year, sections of Russia's only bridge to Crimea were brought down in a huge blast. Moscow had illegally annexed the region four years earlier. Within days of the explosion, eight people were arrested. BBC Russian's Nina Nazarova has spoken to lawyers and families, and tells us what she discovered. Triumph against the odds Halima Umar Saleh of BBC Hausa shares the inspiring story of how she escaped the threat of an arranged marriage as a teenager and fulfilled her dream of becoming a journalist, in our series celebrating the BBC's 100 years. (Photo: Mothers demanding classes move online. Credit: IRNA)


BBC Russian: meet the Riga team

Faranak Amidi meets the BBC Russian journalists who relocated from Moscow to the Latvian capital after the invasion of Ukraine. The first anniversary: what's in the news? Editor Sergei Zakin tells us what the news focus has been for his team in the week of the first anniversary of the invasion. The move from Moscow to Riga Bureau chief Andrei Goryanov explains why the difficult decision was taken to move BBC Russian journalists and their families out of Moscow, and why Riga was chosen as their new home. Leaving Russia Seva Boiko, Liza Fokht and Sergei Goryashko share their experiences of the past year. They describe the challenge of leaving homes and family members and building a new life in a new city. We find out how the shared difficulties have brought the team closer together. Riga: my home town For several years, Latvian journalist Oksana Antonenko covered news from the Baltic region for BBC Russian. She tells us what it was like when nearly fifty colleagues arrived from Moscow to set up their new base in her home town. Reporting Russia from outside The move from Moscow to Riga has meant a new way of reporting for many of the BBC Russian team. Misha Poplavsky and Nataliya Zotova tell us how the change has impacted them. And they reflect with Oksana on what the future holds for them, personally and professionally. (Photo: Faranak Amidi with BBC Russian's Oksana Antonenko in front of Riga's historic House of the Blackheads. Credit: BBC)


BBC Ukrainian: a year of war

Since the start of the war in Ukraine nearly a year ago, thousands of lives have been lost on both sides, and millions of Ukrainians have been forced to leave their homes. For BBC Ukrainian, it's been a year of upheaval, with many journalists from Kyiv moving to new hubs in Lviv and Warsaw, and some living apart from family members. We hear how the team have continued to report the war, from editor Marta Shokalo in Warsaw, Daria Taradai in Lviv and Oleg Karpyak in Kyiv. Ukraine war - perspectives from around the world Over the past year, Russia has been building on its already strong ties to many countries around the world, using trade deals, historic loyalties and propaganda. We get perspectives from China, Latin America and Africa from BBC Chinese editor Howard Zhang, Grigor Atanesian from the BBC's Global Disinformation Unit and Luis Fajardo from BBC Monitoring. (Photo: The Ukrainian national flag flies over Kyiv. Credit: Raul Moreno/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)


Reporting the earthquake

We hear from some of the language service journalists reporting on the catastrophic earthquakes that struck southern Turkey and northern Syria on Monday. Fundanur Öztürk from BBC Turkish travelled to Hatay, one of the worst hit cities, while BBC Arabic's Nisrine Hatoum was on holiday in Turkey at the time and quickly switched to reporting the disaster. Meanwhile her colleague Dina Waqqaf is Syrian, and plans to travel to the earthquake zone in northern Syria. Fear, boredom or nostalgia? Why did so many older Brazilians take part in the January riot? The prevailing age group among the more than 1,000 people arrested for storming government buildings in Brasilia a month ago was between 50 and 59 years old. So why was it this age category specifically who felt motivated to act in this way? Paula Adamo Idoeta of BBC Brasil tells us about her investigation. Not quite the world's tallest man 29-year-old Ghanaian Sulemana Abdul Samed was diagnosed with gigantism a few years ago. BBC Pidgin's Favour Nunoo met him to hear about the difficulties of living with this condition, and to help Sulemana find out exactly how tall he now is. Making change in India BBC Marathi reporters Janhavee Moole, Mayuresh Konnur and Amruta Durve have travelled across the state of Maharashtra to tell the stories of people inspired by the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi to change lives around them. The resulting projects include a women-only bank in a rural town, and a school for city street children who beg at traffic lights. (Photo: A man walks down the rubble of a collapsed building in Kahramanmaras, Turkey, close to the epicentre. Credit: ADEM ALTAN/AFP via Getty Images)


The Myanmar coup, two years on

Since the 2021 coup in Myanmar, many Burmese have taken up arms against the military and thousands more have fled. BBC Burmese editor Soe Win Than tells us about life in the country now, and the challenges he and his team face in reporting it. What's in a name? People in Thailand take naming very seriously. BBC Thai's Tossapol Chaisomritpol explains the meanings behind his many names - from birth, through renaming, and onto his nicknames too! Prague's Little Hanoi Vietnamese people are the third largest ethnic community in the Czech Republic. Khue Luu Binh of BBC Vietnamese explains how they came to be such a significant community, and tells us about 'Little Hanoi', a large commercial hub outside Prague. Iran: How your phone can land you in jail An insight into how the Iranian regime is targeting people’s mobile phones to stifle protests and prevent images leaving the country, with BBC Monitoring’s Khosro Isfahani. Triumph against the odds Sarika Singh of BBC Hindi TV shares the inspiring story of rebuilding her career after a life-threatening illness, in our series celebrating the BBC's 100 years. (Photo: Pro-democracy demonstrators in Bangkok, Thailand. Credit: Chaiwat Subprasom/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)


Ukraine’s corruption crackdown

Ukraine’s anti-corruption campaign is in the spotlight, with the recent dismissal or resignation of several top officials after a string of corruption scandals. Vitaliy Shevchenko of BBC Monitoring explains how the war with Russia has affected Ukraine’s long-running efforts to deal with corruption. Iraq and the Gulf Cup A recent sports story from Iraq provided a welcome change from conflict and political turmoil, when the country hosted football’s Arabian Gulf Cup for the first time since 1979 - and won the championship. Tragically, there was a crush of fans outside the stadium in Basra before the final, leaving two people dead and many injured. BBC Arabic's Haider Hadi, who’s based in Baghdad, shares his reflections. VDGs return to Indian-administered Kashmir A suspected militant attack in a village in Jammu on New Year's Day propelled Village Defence Groups back into the headlines. The original Village Defence Committees, set up in the 1990s, were disbanded in 2018 following illegal killings and accusations of other human rights abuses, but last August the Indian government announced the reintroduction of armed VDGs. BBC Urdu's Riyaz Masroor spoke to villagers in the latest attack, and the family of a victim from the previous era. Disinformation for sale in Nigeria A BBC investigation has discovered that political parties in Nigeria are secretly paying social media influencers to spread disinformation about their opponents ahead of general elections in February. Fauziyya Tukur of the BBC's disinformation unit in Abuja joins us to explain how this works. A visit to the ‘Little Manhattan’ of Caracas The economic crisis in Venezuela has left much of the population struggling to survive, and more than seven million people have left in search of better lives. But in one neighbourhood of the capital Caracas, there are casinos, restaurants and luxury stores. Norberto Paredes of BBC Mundo tells us about Las Mercedes, nicknamed “Little Manhattan”. (Photo: Ukrainian hryvnia in a yellow envelope. Credit: Victoria Kotlyarchuk/ Getty Images)


Belarus language crackdown

It's becoming more and more dangerous to speak Belarusian in Belarus, with reports of people being sacked and even arrested for trying to conduct their work in Belarusian. The linguistic clampdown escalated after the 2020 pro-democracy protests against long-term leader Alexander Lukashenko, as BBC Russian journalist, and Belarusian, Tatsiana Yanutsevich reports. Sri Lanka's education crisis In Sri Lanka many parents are having to decide which children to send to school. It’s a consequence of the political and economic crisis and the dramatic rise in the cost of basics like food and transport. Delhi-based BBC Sinhala editor Ishara Danasekara returned to her home country to make this report. Impeachment, protests and deaths: what is happening in Peru? The impeachment and arrest of Peru's former president Pedro Castillo brought thousands onto the streets, demanding new elections and the removal of his successor, Dina Boluarte. Violent clashes with the security forces have left dozens dead and scores injured. BBC Mundo’s Guillermo Olmo explains the background, and why Peru is so deeply divided. South Korea and Ghana – the chocolate connection For chocolate lovers in South Korea, the most familiar brand is probably Ghana. “Ghana” is written prominently on the wrapper but how much do South Koreans know about the country it’s named after? We brought together Bugyeong Jung from BBC Korean and BBC Africa’s Thomas Naadi, who’s Ghanaian to find out. (Photo: 'Belarus is not Russia' placard and woman wrapped in old Belarus flag, at Kyiv rally in solidarity with Belarusian anti-government protest, September 2022. Credit: STR/ NurPhoto via Getty Images)


Why Kenyan pupils are burning schools

Why are students in Kenya burning their boarding schools? That was the question that inspired BBC Africa reporter Ashley Lime in the Nairobi bureau to investigate these sometimes deadly arson attacks which escalated after the covid pandemic. She spoke to students, relatives of teenagers who died in the fires and experts to better understand this decades old problem. Russian 'Old New Year' After the 1917 Bolshevik revolution in Russia, the calendar and date of the official New Year changed from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian. But some people still choose to celebrate the 'Old New Year' which falls on the 14th January. Julia James of BBC Russian tells us how those Russians celebrate. Brazil: flags and nationalism The design of the Brazilian flag is supposed to represent the unity of the country, but in recent years the flag has become more associated with supporters of the previous president, Jair Bolsonaro. BBC Brasil's Ricardo Senra explains the polarisation of Brazil's flag. Where are pandemic Bali farmers now? Tourism is Bali's main industry so when covid struck many people lost their jobs and returned to their home villages. In Tembok in northern Bali a local scheme sponsored many to go into farming, so what's happened to those 'covid farmers' now tourism's resumed? BBC Indonesian's Valdya Baraputri found out. Afghan women fight for education Since the Taliban retook power in Afghanistan in August 2021 women's education has been dramatically curtailed. Secondary schools closed to women in March, and in December that ban was extended to university. Aalia Farzan is a journalist for BBC Dari who's been hearing about their experiences of protesting and imprisonment. (Photo: People attend the requiem mass for nine young girls who died in the Moi Girls School dormitory fire, in Nairobi on September 14, 2017. Credit: Simon Maina/AFP via Getty Images)